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When Should I Visit London?

If you are planning a trip to London and wondering what time of year would be the best time to visit London then you have come to the right place.  London is a 24-hour, 365 days a year type of city meaning that no matter whether you come at the height of summer or during the depths of winter, there will be something exciting happening and plenty for you to see and do.  That said, if there is something particular you are interested in, or something you especially want to see whilst you are in London then it may well be that a certain time of year would work best for your visit.

Spring

In the UK, the spring months are typically classed as March, April and May and if you are planning a visit to London during these months then you can typically expect a mixed bag when it comes to the weather and should prepare for just about every eventuality.  It has been known to be incredibly warm during April and May with temperatures reaching those typically found during the summer but it could just as easily snow if the cooler winter weather hasn’t yet moved on.  Plan for milder weather with a heightened chance of rain and you will probably get it just right.  Spring is a lovely time to visit if you want to see the first flower buds beginning to appear at the many parks and gardens of London, if you want the chance to get up close to some baby animals at one of the city farms or if you want to see the Changing of the Guard (which occurs daily from April to September).  Spring is usually quiet in the city and is a great time to visit if you don’t want to compete with crowds of tourists but you would like there to be some chance of warmer weather.

Summer

London Summer

Summer months are a busy time in the city with lots to see and do.  Whilst you will never find tropical temperatures in London, it can certainly be warm and you should pack accordingly.  Many outdoor festivals take place in London over the summer and it is also the ideal time to visit if you want to see any of the royal attractions: many of the residences open to the public during the Summer such as The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace and Clarence House which is home to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.  There is also the Trooping of the Colour which takes placed during June.  You may find that prices for accommodation in London rise slightly during the summer and this season is, without a doubt, the busiest in the city as the majority of UK schools break up for six weeks towards the end of July.  It’s the ideal time to visit if you have children as there will be many special, family-friendly events hosted by some of the more popular attractions and, of course, London has some fantastic parks and open spaces which are the ideal place to find a spot and enjoy an afternoon lazing in the sun.  London is also home to a surprising number of outdoor swimming pools and lidos which are open to the public during the summer and which offer a great chance to cool off if the weather does turn out to be warm.

 

 

August is also a great time for any families who want to enjoy some theatre: the London Theatre’s Kid Week runs during this month and offers one free child’s ticket for every adult’s ticket purchased for many of the major shows in the city which can certainly be an affordable way of getting to see one of the larger productions taking place in the West End.

 

If you are looking to visit London and enjoy some retail therapy then summer is also a good time of year as many stores hold a summer sale in late June and early July although with London’s vibrant market scene it is possible to secure a shopping bargain all year round.

 

Autumn

 

Autumn is the ideal time to visit if you still want the chance of warmer weather but you’d like your attractions to not be over-run by tourists and families.  UK schools open again at the start of September so it should quieten down although there are still plenty of things going on in the city.  Open House London takes place during September when some of the city’s famous buildings open their doors to the public; London Fashion Weekend arrives, as does the BBC Proms.  You should find prices for hotels begin to dip and good bargains, such as a night at the London City Suites Barbican become more favourable than during the summer.  The BFI London Film Festival also takes place during autumn, and offers any film fans the chance to see some of the world’s best new movies ahead of their release date.  It takes place during the second week of October and screens more than 300 films and documentaries from around 50 different countries.

Winter

Christmas arrives early in the city and from mid-November onwards you can enjoy a range of festive activities from Christmas markets to outdoor ice skating rinks.  Christmas is a busy time of year for the city with many people heading here to enjoy the festive atmosphere and exciting activities which take place but with good reason: London is a very magical place to visit during November and December.  Post-Christmas weather may be a bit miserable with bitter winds, plenty of chance of rain and cold temperatures but it is also a great time to grab a bargain in the January sales, to get hold of discounted theatre tickets as there is a lull in the season and to make the most of the city being at its quietest if you wanted to take advantage of some of London’s best attractions, which luckily, mostly happen to be indoors.  London won’t be empty of tourists but it will certainly be a lot less chaotic than during the warmer months of the year.

 

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